279. Adam Turns into the Hulk and Rants about Church Music

Caution: This blog post contains furious ranting. Sensitive readers, and readers averse to things being smashed, are advised not to continue.

Being a blogger is great fun, but it’s not without risks. In a small number of cases, frequent exposure to wireless Internet connections has caused bloggers to develop unexpected conditions. I am one of these unfortunates. I and at least one other blogger have become tragic victims of HBS (Hulk Blogging Syndrome).

What does this mean? Well, there’s really only one thing about HBS you should know: Don’t make me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.

That said, today’s blog post is all about contemporary church music, and the way classic hymns are rewritten with new music or lyrics. Well, rewritten may be too kind a word. Hymns are mutilated. They are trampled upon. They are… ugh… I suddenly don’t feel well…

I… I…

BLOG SMASH!

BLOG SMASH!

ADAM IS GONE. NOW THERE IS ONLY HULK. HULK HERE TO DISCUSS CHURCH MUSIC. AND TO SMASH.

HULK DOES NOT LIKE MODERN CHURCH MUSIC. ITS SONGS SEEM MUSICALLY WEAK AND NONDISTINCT. THEY ALL SOUND THE SAME TO HULK. THEIR LYRICS ARE OFTEN NOT VERY MEANINGFUL. THEY ARE SOMETIMES DOWNRIGHT STUPID.

(HULK DISCLAIMER: SOME MODERN WORSHIP SONGS ARE FANTASTIC.)

MANY PEOPLE LOVE MODERN CHURCH MUSIC. THAT IS OKAY WITH HULK. HULK DOES NOT WANT TO BE PHARISEE. WHATEVER MUSIC BRINGS PEOPLE CLOSE TO GOD IS GOOD MUSIC.

CHURCHES ARE WELCOME TO THEIR NEW MUSIC… BUT LEAVE OLD MUSIC ALONE!

SOME OF US LIKE OLD HYMNS. “IT IS WELL.” “AMAZING GRACE.” “BE THOU MY VISION.” “COME THOU FOUNT OF EVERY BLESSING.” THESE ARE GOOD SONGS. THEY ARE FINE THE WAY THEY ARE. SOME PEOPLE FIND THEM TOUCHING AND MEANINGFUL, FULL OF BEAUTY AND TRUTH.

STOP TACKING ON NEW VERSES, CHANGING MELODIES, ADDING UNNECESSARY BRIDGES AND MAKING POINTLESS CHANGES.

PLAYING OLD HYMNS IN NEW STYLES IS FINE. HULK LOVE HEARING HYMNS PERFORMED IN CONTEMPORARY STYLES. THAT IS AWESOME. OLD HYMNS ARE AWESOME. GO AHEAD. JAZZ THEM UP. BUT DO NOT CHANGE THEM.

HULK RECENTLY WENT TO CHURCH. CHURCH SANG “IN CHRIST ALONE.” THIS IS NOT OLD HYMN, BUT IT IS BEAUTIFUL IN EXACT SAME WAYS. “IN CHRIST ALONE” HULK’S FAVORITE SONG. EVER.

CHURCH ON SUNDAY CUT OUT AN ENTIRE VERSE OF “IN CHRIST ALONE.” WHY? ADDED BRIDGE WITH WEAK MELODY AND THESE LYRICS: “Oh, Oh, Oh.” HULK NOT MAKING THIS UP. THOSE WERE WORDS ON SCREEN. “Oh, Oh, Oh.”

THOSE WORDS NOT AN IMPROVEMENT OVER THESE WORDS:

In Christ alone, who took on flesh: fullness of God in helpless babe,

This gift of love and righteousness—scorned by the ones he came to save.

Till on that cross as Jesus died the wrath of God was satisfied,

For every sin on him was laid. Here in the death of Christ I live.

THESE WORDS ARE BETTER THAN “Oh, Oh, Oh.” WHY DID CHURCH STRIP AWAY BEAUTIFUL WORDS FROM HYMN AND REPLACE THEM WITH MEANINGLESS NOISES?

HULK NOT KNOW. HULK NEVER KNOWS.

HULK ASK ALL CHURCHES EVERYWHERE. PLEASE. LEAVE OLD HYMNS ALONE. THEY ARE FINE AS THEY ARE. PLAY YOUR NEW MUSIC. HULK GIVE YOU THAT. BUT GIVE HULK THIS ONE THING. MAKE ONE CONCESSION FOR HULK. YOU CAN HAVE NEW SONGS. DON’T RUIN OLD ONES.

PLEASE. PLEASE. HONOR BEAUTY AND TRUTH IN OLD HYMNS.

HULK OUT!

Whoa… I… what just happened? Why is there a mound of splintered wood where my desk used to be? Who ripped apart my shirt? Why are my typewriter monkeys fleeing in terror?

I suddenly feel sick, so I’m afraid I must cut this post short. Sorry. Now I’m going to yell at my monkeys for wrecking my bedroom, and then go put on some clothes.

Question: Should Hulk rants become a regular feature on this blog? Let us know in the comments!

9 thoughts on “279. Adam Turns into the Hulk and Rants about Church Music

    • Thanks!

      I like the concept of Hulk rants for three reasons. First, it’s a disarming way to discuss potentially divisive things. Second, the Hulk persona puts a little distance between the blogger and his opinions; I feel like it might be easier for readers to discuss controversial things with Hulk than with Adam. Finally, Hulk’s rants are great fun to write!

  1. Adam, you have spoken for some of us….aging ones, who have sung the OLD HYMNS so long we know them all. I sure get lost when the REAL words are changed, and definitely the melody. There are never any notes on the SCREEN to let us know which is the next note we are supposed to sing….in the changes. ‘Course…I do enjoy, all the songs that praise the name of our LORD. BABA

    • I appreciate Hulk. He provides a humorous persona that lets me rant about stuff in a socially acceptable way. Hulk would make more appearances, but most of the things that really anger me aren’t funny at all. I think the underlying humor and absurdity of Hulk making meaningful points is what makes his rants work as well as they do.

      I don’t know whose idea it was to butcher “In Christ Alone,” but I want to smack him with a Bible — one of those big Gutenberg Bibles with the metal studs.

      It’s nice to hear from you, Robby. I hope you, and your magnificent hair, are well. 🙂

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